Prepared for Zach H. | Delivered September 23, 2019
Dead Man's Switch
To obtain a list of existing software or programs performing dead man's switches, with a particular focus on examples being used in media, journalism, and activism.
A digital "dead man's switch" is a
program designed to check in
with the user periodically and, if the user doesn't respond within a given time frame, release certain materials, photos, documents, or correspondences either to the public or to certain designated recipients.
This type of program has a number of potential uses, one of which is as "
violence or intimidation for journalists".
These programs are
, as they're digitized, they're protected against censorship or other foils, such as the sender losing the ability to trigger the response.
Dead man's switches are also
and referred to in politics, both in digitized and other formats.
DEAD MAN'S SWITCH
Dead Man's Switch
offers a number of digital packages offering dead man's switch programs.
The packages allow
users to write and prescribe the recipients of emails, which will automatically be sent if periodic emails are not acknowledged by the user.
The company offers
: one free, and one costing a one-time fee of $20.
With the free account
, users are allowed to write up to two emails with two recipients each, whereas paid customers can write up to 100 emails for 100 recipients each.
Another company offering dead man's switch programs is
, which allows users to receive periodic contact via phone, text, or e-mail. Should the contact be ignored, it will trigger the release of as many photos, documents, or electronic files as the user designates to as many people as are identified.
The company offers a variety of packages designed for various situations, one of which is the "whistle-blower" package. "
Going to blow the whistle
? Upload your important data to Deadman for safe
will send it to whoever you want if you can't be reached. In case anyone asks: it's in good hands."
sign up for free
via Google, Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Though not explicitly termed a "dead man's switch", Google has a program called Inactive Account Manager which "
is a way
for users to share parts of their account data or notify someone if they’ve been inactive for a certain
Google reviews a variety of data, including "
your last sign-ins
, your recent activity in My Activity, usage of
app on your phone), and Android check-ins" in order to determine whether a user is active. If it's found that they're not, a response is triggered which shares designated account materials with a designated recipient.
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